The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 173
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The United States-Mexican Boundary Survey 173
George Folsom, Dr. F. S. Hawks, Henry Schoolcraft, Albert
Gallatin, and, on occasion, Edgar Allen Poe.26 These same men,
with the exception of Poe, in 1842 formed the American Ethno-
logical Society which soon became a focal point for anthropolog-
ical studies in the United States. Of this group, both Stephens and
Squier had been afforded an opportunity to make spectacular
explorations of Central America by means of diplomatic appoint-
ments tendered by the United States government.27 Another
friend from Baltimore, Brantz Mayer, had served as United States
Consul to Mexico in 1842, and his sojourn had also resulted in
the successful travel book, Mexico As It Is and As It Was.28 It
was, perhaps, with these, his more famous friends, in mind that
Bartlett sought the commissioner's job. Undoubtedly, he en-
visioned himself as an explorer of exotic and unknown regions
rather than as a practical administrator engaged in a monotonous
survey through barren and dangerous country. A passage in his
autobiography confirms this observation. He wrote:
Although my life and pursuits had always been of a sedentary
character I always had a great desire for travel and particularly for
exploring unknown regions. I had also ever felt a deep interest in
the Indians and was glad of an opportunity to be thrown among the
wild tribes of the interior. I saw, too, that there would be a wide
field for new exploration, and that if the government would permit
these, I would prefer the office of Commissioner to that of any
Out of the avalanche of applications for positions on the newly
formed commission, Bartlett formed a large and luxuriously
equipped party which included a detachment of army topograph-
ical engineers, a contingent of civilian surveyors, a force of fifty
mechanics, a platoon of field scientists sponsored by all the learned
societies, a collection of personal friends and relatives, and a small
navy commanded by the volatile Lieutenant Isaac G. Strain.
26John Russell Bartlett, Autobiography (MS., Bartlett Papers, John Carter
Brown Library, Providence, Rhode Island), 32-83, 59.
27Ibid., 38-39; see also Dictionary of American Biography, XVII, 488-489, 579-580.
2sJerry E. Patterson, Introduction to Journal of Brantz Mayer (MS., Yale Col-
lection of Western Americana, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University); see
also Dictionary of American Biography, XII, 449.
29Bartlett, Autobiography (MS., Bartlett Papers, John Carter Brown Library,
Providence, Rhode Island), 50-51.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/216/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.